Breezy Point still a ghost town six months after the Hurricane Sandy catastrophe hit New York
Residents say they feel betrayed in Irish enclave by pols and insurance companies
A shocking investigative report by columnist Denis Hamill in the New York Daily News reveals that many residents feel abandoned by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council President Christine Quinn who all promised massive state and federal help.
In addition, new insurance regulations and battles with insurance companies are causing massive delays.
Resident Michael Sullivan said much of Breezy has become a ghost town in the aftermath of the massive storm and flash fire that devastated the enclave with the highest percentage of Irish Americans in the U.S.
Michael is one of six members of the Sullivan clan who have been displaced from their home
He just moved back full time to the neighborhood on the tip of Queens but was almost cut off by power and water authorities who thought no one lived on his block anymore.
‘They were gonna shut off all power and water on my block for a week to take down the other homes. I had to stop them because this is such a ghost town now that nobody knew we were even back.’
Hundreds of homes are still targeted for demolition.
“Seven homes on my block are either gone or red-tagged for demolition,” says Sullivan, 52
One of his relatives, 9/11 survivor Thomas Sullivan, has lost his home and is having huge difficulty getting permission to rebuild.
“Thomas is living with his wife’s family in Long Island until they can rebuild,” says Michael. “But insurance and the new building codes delay everything. It’s like Breezy is frozen in time.“
Ironically those whose houses burned down on that fateful night will fare much better than those who were flooded because of insurance issues.
“Don’t let anyone bull---t you or sugarcoat what’s going on in Breezy,” John Nies, 55, told The Daily News. “I was here through Sandy as a member of the Rockaway Point Fire Department, and I never experienced anything like that insane night in my life. It was a game-changer.”
Nies says those who were burned out will be much better off. ‘They had fire insurance and will get paid and will rebuild. But the ones whose homes were flooded are still haggling with insurance companies.’
“It’s been an emotional nightmare. Friends, neighbors, good decent people just ruined. Many never coming back. There wasn’t a single home untouched by Sandy that I know of in Breezy.
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